Evident in the history of Ghana’s judiciary is the illustrious and remarkable role of distinguished women who through their accomplishments broke the glass ceiling and became a point of inspiration for female lawyers and judges who came after their generation.
If Ghana can boast of great and astute female legal practitioners, then it is due to the strides by women like Justice Anne Jiagge who shattered the glass and opened the door of opportunity for young Ghanaian girls to dream of becoming lawyers and judges.
In an era where the law profession was reserved for men, Anne Jiagge embarked on a mission to do the unthinkable, and her determination paid off as her record is decorated with achievements like first Ghanaian female lawyer, first Ghanaian female judge, the first Ghanaian High Court judge and most profoundly first woman in any Commonwealth Country to be appointed a High Court judge.
For context, Ghana had a female High Court judge before countries like England, Australia, and Canada. Such is the magnitude of achievement of Anne Jiagge who clearly deserves much more recognition than she is given.
A publication by UK-based law portal gatehouselaw.co.uk in celebration of her marvelous works details that Anne Jiagge was born as Anne Ruth Baeta in French Togoland on October 7, 1918.
According to braperucci.africa, Anne Jiagge’s father was a Presbyterian priest by name of Robert Baeta who had eight children with his wife.
She attended Achimota College where she obtained a teaching certificate in 1937. From 1940 to 1946, she was headmistress and schoolteacher at the Evangelical Presbyterian Girls School.
Her successful foray into the legal profession commenced in 1946 when she enrolled at the London School of Economics and Political Science to study law.
She graduated from the school with flying colors and received her LLB in 1949, she was subsequently called to the UK Bar.
She returned to Ghana (then Gold Coast) in 1950 and set up her private firm which she operated for three years.
She dropped the bar for the bench in 1953 and began as a magistrate. From there, she worked up her way and became Ghana’s first female High Court judge in September 1961.
Annie was the first female judge of the Court of Appeal. She later became president of the Court of Appeal in 1980 until her retirement in 1983.
She played a great role in the drafting of Ghana’s 3rd and 4th Republican constitutions, serving on the committee of experts who put together the documents.
Until her demise in 1996, She was a member of the Council of State.
Source: Ghana Web